Our Team

Larry Ahlquist

Role: General Manager
Serving Since: 1994
Phone Number: 213.633.8700

Email: larry.ahlquist@clubcorp.com

Larry Ahlquist is a man with a myriad of talents and interests. He attended Creighton University; Mr. Ahlquist has over 45 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Since his tenure began as General Manager for City Club on Bunker Hill in 1994 and Regional Manager for California, Hawaii and Washington ClubCorp Business Clubs. Mr. Ahlquist has established the City Club as the premiere meeting place for the Downtown Community's top executives. He and his Club have hosted civic leaders, international figureheads, top executives and other distinguished professionals in both the public and private sector.

Mr. Ahlquist was awarded the “Club Manager of the Year’ in 2000, Gold Circle of Excellence 2004, 2015 Silver Circle of Excellence 2005, 2010, 2014, 2016 Bronze Circle of Excellence 2002 and Super Star of the Year 2004 and 2005 and All-Star in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Mr. Ahlquist moved the City Club Bunker Hill from its original Location to 555 South Flower St, in 2013 and supervised an 11 million dollar build out of the New City Club Los Angeles.

Mr. Ahlquist’s other professional accomplishments include acting as a consultant for 28 City and Country Clubs in the Southern California region for ClubCorp, where he facilitated the implementation of action and marketing plans to ensure that Club Managers achieved revenue goals totaling $140 Million. Prior to that, Mr. Ahlquist served as Vice President of 23 theme Specialty Restaurants located throughout the East Coast, where he achieved over 73 Million in revenues.

Mr. Ahlquist has also served as Vice President (1982-1986) for the Hungry Tiger Restaurant chain, where he managed operations throughout California, Arizona and Nevada.

From 1986-1989, Mr. Ahlquist was also the President of Ahlquist Trading, which specialized in exporting produce to target markets in both Europe and Asia. During this time, Mr. Ahlquist's vast knowledge of international trade and taxation laws helped him successfully negotiate contracts between growers and international distributors, as well between various government agencies and airfreight companies.

Always an active civic participant, Mr. Ahlquist is a member of several Downtown Los Angeles organizations, most notably a Board Member of the Ketchum YMCA, Thomas & Ethel Bradley Foundation, Central City Association, and the Millennium Momentum.

In addition to his extensive list of professional and civic activities, Mr. Ahlquist's other passions include the Martial Arts, where he is a practicing Master of Anjing Banfa, SCUBA, International Travel and golf.

Mr. Ahlquist is the proud father of four and grandfather to five.

Karla Evans

Role: Membership Director
Serving Since: 2018
Phone Number: 213-633-8703
Email Karla Evans

Life motto: "Whatever the mind of [wo]man can conceive and believe it can achieve." - Napoleon Hill  

Karla Evans was born in Pachuca, but spent most of the time in Los Cabos, Mexico. When it came time to choose a university, she immediately looked to De La Salle and their hospitality management program for being one of the best out there. For Karla, hospitality was a perfect match because she had a passion for traveling and connecting with individuals from around the world. Her tenure in the industry started with 8 years at a private golf community in Cabo as Member Relations and Property Manager before transitioning to being a Sales Manager with Hyatt Hotels.

In her free time, Karla spends time with her husband exploring good eats and wine, live music events, and movies. Together, Karla and her husband Tom have lived in Los Cabos, Trinidad & Tobago, New Orleans, Raleigh, and now they are proud to call Los Angeles their new home. Karla also enjoys a good book or two in her downtime; some of her favorite authors include Napoleon Hill, Wallace D. Waters, Jen Sincero, and Guillermo Ferrara, just to name a few. Food is the key to her heart, but pizza and champagne is where it's at!

Karla is excited to connect with all of our Members and Members-to-be so don't be shy and say hello when you see her at City Club LA!

Emily Dreibelbis

Role: Membership Director
Serving Since: 2018
Phone Number: 213-633-8706
Email Emily Dreibelbis

Life Motto: "Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire!"

Emily is from Oceanside, a coastal city from the San Diego area. Growing up, she had a deep passion for reading and writing, which is why she majored in English literature and with a minor in professional writing/editing. Shortly after graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Emily had a chance to live abroad and teach English in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once she returned, Emily spent 4 years in hospitality with Omni La Costa before making her way to business development and marketing for Finance of America.

When she's not working too hard, Emily is trying out new restaurants or planning her next travel destination. Next up on the bucket list is an African Safari or Greece! When we asked for her favorite cuisine, she had to admit she does not discriminate when it comes to food. She is a San Diego native, which means she is new to the LA lifestyle. The next time you're at the Club, strike up a conversation with Emily and let's get her acquainted with Los Angeles!

Lera Van Straatum

Role: Operations Director
Serving Since: 2010
Phone Number: 213.633.8711

Email: lera.vanstraatum@clubcorp.com

Lera relocated back to Southern California in 2014 to lead the Operations department at the City Club Los Angeles. Prior to City Club Los Angeles, Lera spent four years in Chicago managing Food & Beverage department at the Metropolitan Club in the Willis Tower.

Before joining ClubCorp team, Lera managed a club house at the Cordillera Country Club in Edwards, Colorado immediately after graduating Collins College of Hospitality Management in Pomona, CA. Beginning with her first club job at Hacienda Golf Club in La Habra Heights in 2004, Lera has been fascinated with club business. The act of connecting people, growing relationships, enriching Members’ & Employees’ lives is very close to Lera’s Russian soul and the most rewarding in her career.

Currently Lera resides in Los Angeles with her husband Sean, daughter Mila and two dogs, Mishka and Zaika.

Lera serves as President on the Collins College Alumni Board. When not working, Lera and Sean love to travel the world, study wine and food scenes, and relax with family and friends.

Ernest Nicodemus

Role: Sr. Private Events Director
Serving Since: 1997
Phone Number: 213.633.8707

Email: ernest.nicodemus@clubcorp.com

Born and raised in the Philippines, Ernest graduated from the University of The Assumption, with degrees in education. He sought after the city life, moving from the Philippines to Downtown LA. Started as a server at City Club Los Angeles, moving quickly up the club ladder he landed the position of Senior Private Events Director. With his knowledge of the ins and outs of club life and business, he is leading the Private Event team to strive for excellence in every event they touch.

He has tight ties to his large family back home and all over the globe. He loves traveling to connect with each of them from Canada all the way back to the Philippines. Nothing is more important to him than family, including his ClubCorp Family!

Elena Tan

Role: Private Events Coordinator
Serving Since: 2016
Phone Number: 213.633.8712

Email: elena.tan@clubcorp.com

Elena was born and raised in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles in 2007. After graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in hospitality management, she was immediately brought into the City Club LA as an intern.

Moving quickly through the ranks she became the Membership Assistant and now the Member Relations Coordinator. With her many years of hospitality experience and her passion to serve, she is the perfect fit to be every Member’s liaison and guide through all facets of club life.

When she’s not at the Club, you can find her spending time with her family, friends and boyfriend eating and exploring the city. When you need a pick me up, Elena always has a full drawer of candy and sweets waiting to share. 

Preston Sam

Role: Member Relations Coordinator
Serving Since: 2018
Phone Number: 213.633.8715

Preston joined the City Club LA team in March of 2018. Preston graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. His undergraduate degree was the culmination of his passion for personal development. During his college years, he attended numerous classes on nutrition, injury prevention, rehabilitation, strength and conditioning, and programming. He was also fortunate enough to work for FranklinCovey for 3 years where he learned all about their programs and became a certified 7 Habits of Highly Effective People facilitator. After graduating college, Preston became an Expansion and Recruitment Consultant for Sigma Nu Fraternity traveling the country to reestablish dormant chapters at different university and colleges. During his tenure there, he moved to Lexington Virginia, traveled to 14 different states, and drove across the country 4 times!

Celine Ison

Role: Office Administrator
Serving Since: 2015
Phone Number: 213.633.8704

Email: celine.ison@clubcorp.com

Celine is the Office Manager at City Club Los Angeles. Since starting at the club in 2015, Celine has held various positions starting out as a banquet supervisor and transitioned into several other roles such as private events coordinator and the director of service. She now is in charge of the accounting and human resources department at the club and supports a team of 80 to create warm welcomes, magic moments, and fond farewells to the club members.

Prior to City Club LA, Celine worked as a teaching assistant at The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch at her now Alma Mater, The Collins College at Cal Poly Pomona. As a teaching assistant she learned how to manage a team, work private events and network with other Alumni.  She now serves on the Board of the Collins College Alumni Society as a Director of Communications to help Alumni connect with each other. 

In her spare time she enjoys going to theme parks, exploring new restaurants, going on hikes and spending time with close friends, and family.

Marc Wilson

Role: Executive Chef
Serving Since: 2018
Phone Number: 213.633.8702

Chef Marc Wilson was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan where he got his foundation for cooking from his mother and grandmother. Each and every Sunday dinner/brunch was prepared from scratch by the matriarchs of the family. At an early age the aromas and fast pace was instilled in the young chef that continues to shape his career to this very day.

While in his early twenties he began his commercial cooking career at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Michigan where food became beautiful pictures on plates that amazed the young chef to begin more intense study of food, techniques and palate training. After studying and training there he met many phenomenal chefs that assisted in his continued training which led to moving quite a bit to take on new techniques. After starting his family he began his training throughout the mid-west where the American Culinary Federation was introduced to a new father where validation of cooking skills became the forefront of his cooking career. For many years; training and more training was most important to the young chef as he continued to study under many talented chefs.

In 2015 Chef Marc acquired his Certified Executive Chef, Certified Culinary Administrator certifications respectively through the American Culinary Federation. In conjunction to those he holds Gluten Free Certification as well as World Certified Executive Chef through the World Association of Chefs Societies. Chef Marc is still training to perfect his craft and truly believes that you can never learn all there is about culinary arts.

Alex Chan

Role: Service Director
Serving Since: 2016
Phone Number: 213.633.8713

Email: alex.chan@clubcorp.com

Alex has been with the City Club Los Angeles since 2015. Starting as an intern, he assisted in a number of roles with various departments, from Private Events to Member Relations. After thriving with those diverse responsibilities, he moved up to his current position of Service Director in July 2017. He now focuses on Operations and Member Services.

After graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management, the club has been a perfect environment for him to apply textbook knowledge to real-life service scenarios. Though CCLA’s members keep him on his toes, Alex always aims for complete guest satisfaction with each and every request.

Prior to joining CCLA, Alex worked for Caruso, the company that built and manages iconic lifestyle centers such as The Grove and The Americana at Brand. It was there that he first cultivated his passion for hospitality as a concierge and porter.

Angie Hong

Role: Office Administrator Assistant
Serving Since: 2016
Phone Number: 213.633.8709

Email: angie.hong@clubcorp.com

Angie was born and raised in Glendale, California. She found a newfound passion for the industry working part-time at a restaurant. While studying hospitality management at Cal Poly Pomona, she was introduced to private clubs as an intern at City Club Los Angeles. 

Upon graduation, she transitioned into the Accounting Department as an Office Administrative Assistant where she now assists with all of our members' needs.

In her free time, she enjoys staying home with her Shih Tzu, Max, binge watching her favorite TV shows. When she is out and about, she loves to spend quality time with her family and friends trying new restaurants and exploring the city. 

Gary Park

Role: Food & Beverage Manager
Serving Since: 2018
Phone Number: 213.633.8701

After growing up in Southern California and graduating from the Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona. Gary got his first crack at club management with Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach. After gaining management experience at Old Ranch Country Club, he ventured up to Northern California to see what all the “hyphy” was about. Gary spent 3 years at The Olympic Club before he decided to help an old college friend with his food truck “MoBowl”, it was a great experience and will never forget how much fun he had on those trucks. After spending 5 years in the Bay Area, it was time for Gary to come back home and be closer to family. With his recent move, Gary was blessed with the opportunity to work with City Club Los Angeles and the ClubCorp family. 

When Gary is not at the Club, he is usually exercising at the gym, drinking a beer or building/strengthening current or new friendships. However, the passion that Gary enjoys the most is building his faith, serving the church and praising the Lord. 

If you are every in need of conversation, try to wrangle Gary down and he will always be more than happy and willing to listen. Thank you for your time, God Bless!